No. 4 Pax Americana
You will eat your vegetables at Pax Americana, where mounds of dewy lettuces, crunchy young sprouts, and teeny microgreens are scattered with abandon on almost everything but the desserts. Thirty-one-year-old chef Adam Dorris has turned a garnish into a delectable signature at a New American venue that already stands out from the crowd. And speaking of crowds, you can definitely find them here, squeezed into every square inch of the surprisingly formal space—think pristine white woodwork, tufted brown leather banquettes, and tall vases of fresh flowers. The menu of small plates is divided into five categories: Bread, Vegetable, Sea, Land, and Sugar. If you’re merely peckish, try the skillet of soft-cooked eggs tarted up with sesame vinaigrette and kimchi aioli (mopping-up operations are deliciously handled with purple-barley bread from Common Bond bakery). If you’re ravenous, head for the stupendous chunks of Asian-spiced fatty brisket. You won’t be hungry again for at least two days.
Opened August 2, 2014. 4319 Montrose Blvd, Houston (713-239-0228). D Tue–Sun. Reservations recommended.